The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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In The Giver what areas in life do the members in community have a free choice? What areas of their lives is tightly controlled?

The members of Jonas's community have the freedom to choose where they want to perform most of their volunteer hours, hang out with whoever they like in their leisure time, and look up unclassified information in the Hall of Open Records. The citizens do not have the freedom to choose their spouse, have children, decide their occupation, voice their opinion, or exercise any individuality whatsoever. Virtually every aspect of society is tightly controlled by the Committee of Elders.

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In The Giver there are few areas in life where members of the community have a free choice, as nearly everything in their lives is tightly controlled by the society and the elders. The way people behave towards one another is tightly controlled; from the way people speak to other members of the community to the prohibition of touching another even gently on the arm, as Jonas does one day spontaneously when he wants to get his friend Asher’s attention. People’s emotions and physical desires are tightly controlled; as adolescents near puberty and adulthood, they begin taking pills to control...

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